On Wednesday, September 16, I went to a lecture about the Eastland Disaster at the DuPage County Historical Museum that was sponsored by the museum, the DuPage County Genealogical Society and Fountaindale Genealogy Group.
The Eastland Disaster Historical Society (EDHS) was “co-founded by Susan Decker and Barbara Decker Wachholz, the granddaughters (and only grandchildren) of brave survivor Borghild Amelia Aanstad.”1 The night was filled with information about the disaster, as well as many personal stories by many survivors.
At the end of the evening, before the floor was opened for questions EDHS asked if there were any descendants of the Eastland Disaster in the room. I was surprised when three people raised their hands, each of them was given the time to tell their families story. At the end of the evening a fourth stood up an told her story. This was probably the best part of the evening, not only did we get to hear the amazing stories of heroism and survival. But we got to witness the emotions that are still felt from this one event, 100 years later.
If you are a descendant of the Eastland Disaster (or know someone who is), please contact EDHS. Their mission is to preserve and share the stories of the affected by the disaster. Or, if you would like to support the organization please donate to assist them with their mission.